Happy August, Educators! Here is a helpful list of important historical events that occurred during the month of August to share with your students and colleagues. Have a great month!
August 1st, 1779 – Star-Spangled Banner author Francis Scott Key was born in Frederick County, Maryland. His poem would become the national anthem of the United States.
August 2nd, 1923 – President Warren G. Harding died suddenly in a hotel in San Francisco. His administration had been tainted by the Teapot Dome political scandal. He was succeeded the next day by Calvin Coolidge.
August 3rd, 1492 – Christopher Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships: Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria. Hoping to reach the Far East, he instead landed in the Bahamas on October 12th.
August 4th, 1961 – Barack Obama, the 44th U.S. President, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
August 5th, 2011 – Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency downgraded the United States’ debt from its highest rating of AAA to a lesser AA+ rating, marking the first-ever decline of creditworthiness for the U.S.
August 6th, 1945 – The first Atomic Bomb was dropped over the center of Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m. by the Americans. The bomb detonated about 1,800 ft. above ground, killing over 105,000 persons and destroying the city. Another estimated 100,000 people later died from the radiation.
August 7th, 1990 – Just five days after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, President George Bush ordered Desert Shield, a massive military buildup to prevent further Iraqi advances.
August 8th, 1945 – Soviet Russia declared war on Japan and sent troops into Japanese-held Manchuria.
August 9th, 1974 – Effective at noon, Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency as a result of the Watergate scandal. Facing possible impeachment by Congress, he became the only U.S. President ever to resign.
August 10th, 1874 – Herbert Hoover, the 31st U.S. President, was born in West Branch, Iowa. He was the first President born west of the Mississippi.
August 11th, 1965 – Six days of riots began in the Watts area of Los Angeles, triggered by an incident between a white member of the California Highway Patrol and an African American motorist.
August 12th, 1676 – King Philip’s War ended with the assassination of Metacom, leader of the Pokanokets, a tribe within the Wampanoag Indian Federation. Nicknamed ‘King Philip’ by colonists, he led a Native American uprising against white settlers which resulted in a nearly two year war, now known as King Philip’s War.
August 13th, 1961 – The Berlin Wall came into existence after the East German government closed the border between east and west sectors of Berlin. It became a notorious symbol of the Cold War.
August 14th, 1935 – President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, establishing the system which guarantees pensions to those who retire at age 65.
August 15th, 1969 – Woodstock, a three-day rock concert, began in a field near Yasgur’s Farm at Bethel, New York. The event came to symbolize the counterculture movement of the 1960’s.
August 16th, 1896 – Gold was discovered in Rabbit Creek, a tributary of the Klondike River in Alaska, resulting in the Great Klondike Gold Rush.
August 17th, 1998 – Bill Clinton became the first sitting President to give testimony before a grand jury in which he, the President, was the focus of the investigation.
August 18th, 1920 – The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote.
August 20th, 1833 – Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd U.S. President, was born in North Bend, Ohio. He was the grandson of William Henry Harrison, the 9th President.
August 21st, 1959 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Hawaii to the Union as the 50th state.
August 22nd, 1902 – In Hartford, CT, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to ride in an automobile.
August 23rd, 1838 – The first class graduated from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, MA. It was one of the first colleges for women.
August 24th, 1814 – During the War of 1812, Washington, D.C. was invaded by British forces that burned the Capitol, the White House, and most other public buildings along with a number of private homes.
August 25th, 1918 – American conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Considered one of the greatest conductors in American music history, his works included West Side Story, On the Town, and the opera Candide.
August 26th, 1883 – One of the most catastrophic volcanic eruptions in recorded history occurred on the Indonesian island of Krakatoa.
August 27th, 1908 – Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th U.S. President, was born near Stonewall, Texas. He became the President upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
August 28th, 1963 – The March on Washington occurred as over 250,000 people attended a Civil Rights rally in Washington, D.C., at which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous I Have a Dream speech.
August 29th, 1991 – Following an unsuccessful coup, the Soviet Communist Party was suspended, ending the institution that ruled Soviet Russia for nearly 75 years.
August 30th, 1797 – Frankenstein author Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was born in London.
August 31st, 1997 – Britain’s Princess Diana died at age 36 from massive internal injuries suffered in a high-speed car crash, reportedly after being pursued by photographers.